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Cable Car Rider Guide

Basic Information

Currently, there are three Cable Car Lines in service. The Powell-Mason, the Powell-Hyde and the California Line.

Powell-Hyde Street Line starts at Hyde and Beach streets located near the Hyde Street Pier. From there it goes straight up the hill(a 21% slope) to Lombard street. If you have purchased an All Day Passport, feel free to get off the Cable Car and walk up and down the "Crookedest Street in the World". On your journey to the end of the line at Powell Street, you will see one of the most scenic neighborhoods, Russian Hill, in the city.

Powell-Mason Street Line starts at Bay and Taylor streets, just in a few blocks inland from Fisherman's Wharf and the closest line to Pier 39. Along the journey to the end of the line at Powell Street, you will pass through North Beach, have a quick visit to Columbus Street and then into heart of Chinatown. Be sure to stop off at the Cable Car Museum to see the cable lines pop out of the street and into the Cable Car Barn.

The California Line provides transportation up and down California Street. At one end is in the heart of San Francisco's Financial District while the other is at the top of Nob Hill, where you will find many of our fancier hotels. You will not find many tourists using this line, as many locals use it to commute. However, it does stop at Grant street which is the famously beautiful entrance to Chinatown.

TO RETURN FROM POWELL-MARKET STREET TURNAROUND: Both the Powell-Mason and the Powell-Hyde street Cable Cars have their turnarounds at Powell-Market Street. Be sure to hop on the Cable Car that is going on the line you want. Look for the small plaque on the front of the car that states the ending destination. Also, the Powell-Mason line will have a yellow destination sign, and the Powell-Hyde will have a maroon destination sign.

Basic Rules of the Ride:

Single ride Cable Car tickets and All-Day Passports are available at ticket booths located at Powell and Market or Hyde and Beach streets. They can also be bought from the conductors as you board the Cable Cars. Please have small change available for purchasing tickets

The conductors can make change for up to $20.

No transfers/fare receipts are accepted.

Fare receipts are issued; one-ride-only receipts are not valid as transfers.

You can get on the Cable Car at any stop along the way where you see the Cable Car Stop pole. The Conductors will stop at each stop to let people on and off. This is a great way to avoid the long lines at the turnarounds.

Single Ride Cable Car Fares- updated 11/11

  • Adult and Youth(5 to 17): $6 each ride, a single ride on a single cable car vehicle. You do not have any hop on hop off privileges with this ticket.

  • Senior, ages 65 or older; disabled; Medicare card holder: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.: $6 each ride. Before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m.: $3 each ride, cash or ticket only. Valid ID required. $6 each ride, no discount, with e-cash on Senior Clipper card or RTC ID card.

    All-Day Passport (We recommend this)

    An All-Day Passport is sold for $15 by the conductors on the cable cars. This passport is equivalent to a 1-Day Passport only on the day sold. We recommend this fare because you can ride the cable cars all day long. You have hop on and off privileges for the whole day.

    For instance, if you take the Powell/Hyde street line, you may want to get off the Cable Car to walk along Lombard street,the worlds crookedest street in the world. Then, when you are done, you can hop right back onto the Cable Car to continue your ride. Or if you take Powell/Mason street line, you may want to get off in Chinatown and visit this vibrant area of our city. So, the All Day Passport offers you all day flexibility to sight see and enjoy our city.

    More Rules of the Ride: Clipper cards containing Muni monthly passes or cash value are accepted. Show card to Cable Car conductor.

    Monthly passes, whether paper or loaded to your Clipper card; monthly pass loaded to your RTC Discount Photo ID card; BART Plus; and Passports are valid on cable cars.

    A valid single-ride cable car ticket with a face value of less than the current cable car fare requires an additional cash payment to make up the full current cable car fare.

    Interagency passes and Limited use Muni tickets do not count towards cable car fares.

    Single ride cable car tickets are available at ticket booths located at Powell and Market or Hyde and Beach. They are also available at the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, at Powell and Market streets.